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Willie Walsh hails “game-changing” new aircraft

The new Airbus A321neo
The new Airbus A321neo

The new Airbus A321neo aircraft will be a “game-changer” for the airline industry, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh has said.

In a panel discussion at the CAPA Airline Leader Summit in Dublin on Friday, Walsh said that the new single-aisle jet would enable airlines to cost-effectively operate mid- to long-haul routes, including trans-Atlantic services.

“The new A321[neo] is a game-changer… because it has range and flexibility. It will change the landscape and create new long-haul opportunities,” Walsh said.

The largest version of the fuel-efficient A320neo series, the A321neo has a range of 6,850km, allowing it to comfortably operate routes such as London-New York. It also has a relatively large capacity of 185 passengers in a standard two-class configuration, and more than 200 in a single-class layout.

IAG has orders seven A321neos for Aer Lingus, which is expected to utilise the aircraft on its trans-Atlantic routes.

The first ever A321neo was delivered to Virgin America last month.

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